Russian Men Sweep Bobsled Gold

Driver Zubkov, 39, wins gold in 4-man after 2-man victory
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 23, 2014 7:34 AM CST
The team from Latvia LAT-1, with Oskars Melbardis, Daumants Dreiskens, Arvis Vilkaste and Janis Strenga, take a curve during the men's four-man bobsled competition final at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday,...   (Michael Sohn)
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(Newser) – Russian bobsledder Alexander Zubkov was given a daunting assignment for his home Olympics. His task: Take to Russian ice and make history, against drivers who have been beating him for years. Do svidaniya, world! Zubkov was uncatchable. He drove Russia to victory in the four-man bobsled race today, adding that gold to his two-man gold from earlier in the Sochi Games and making him the sixth pilot to sweep those events at an Olympics. Until now, no one had ever achieved that feat on home ice, but this track was built for Zubkov and he proved to be its master.

Oskars Melbardis of Latvia drove to the silver medal, matching his nation's best showing in a Winter Olympic event. And 2010 four-man champion Steven Holcomb piloted USA-1 to bronze, ceding his Olympic title but winning his third career medal—tying the most by any US bobsledder—and giving his nation seven sliding medals at the Sochi Games, tops among all countries. And Zubkov, a 39-year-old driver who hadn't won a single two- or four-man race all season on the World Cup circuit was declared perfect in Sochi.

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